The Evening Walk – Chapter One.
Chapter One - Angel
It was evening time, a lazy Sunday was about to get over. The latter part of the evening would be more TV, getting things set for the week ahead and my favourite part of the day an Evening Walk. As a contrast to lot of my friends and colleagues beliefs I found the evening walk very refreshing indeed. I do take my morning walks but then the evening walk is something special. It relieves me of all the pressures that I have gone throughout the day. Thus when I hit the bed my mind is fresh and I enjoy a goodnight’s sleep. The following morning a light jog and walk keeps the day fine. Thus for me it begins with the evening walk.
I changed to my track suit and wore my walking shoes on, drove my car to the Central Park in the city, wore my cap and got started. When I started from my house the weather seemed fine but I believe it changed its mood as I drove the city lanes. It was now overcast and dark, the breeze though mild was wet. I could feel the moisture in the breeze. In short it was about to rain.
I did not want to spoil the chances of my refreshing walk, so I quickly rushed back to my car picked up my umbrella and got back to the park.
The walk around the park was about a mile long. With my speed I always took about seven to eight minutes to complete the walk. After about a round around the park or so it started raining. Thankfully it was a light shower and thus tolerable enough to continue walking without the help of the umbrella. The shower did make me wet, but then it was better than being drenched.
As I walked past the children’s play area within the park I noticed a young girl, she looked like a college going girl, without her books enjoying the rains. She stood with her arms stretched looking skywards enjoying the bliss of rains. I used to enjoy the rains that way during my younger days and would love to do it again, but then not in public. I believed that this girl had thrown concerns about what people think to the bin and was enjoying the rains. I walked past the area. But yes one thing that struck me her behaviour bought a pleasant smile to my face. I don’t know why but I was smiling for a while as I continued with my walk. On the second instance I passed the area and she was still around and this time arms were still spread and she was enjoying the shower thoroughly. The movement by her side did not seem to bother her neither did she bother the people. She simply kept on enjoying the rain. On the next round I noticed that she was still at the same spot, of course her arms weren’t spread the way they were earlier but she still looked towards he rain gods as if she were thanking them for the shower.
I continued with my walk and now the thought of this girl was stuck to the back of my mind. Throughout the next round around the park, I kept thinking about her. I continued smiling, I felt I am attracted to her. Her carefree attitude to enjoy the rain despite of people around her and her pleasant face kept on lingering in my mind.
As I passed her next time she was still around the same spot and now she was looking around for something. I believe she was tired of her endeavour with the rain and now was looking for a shaded place. Mind you she was drenched in the mild rain by now. I was walking and hit the shade every now and then hence I was fine. I was tempted to offer her my umbrella but then shied away from doing so. I did not know how she would react to a stranger offering her an umbrella. I paused for a brief moment and continued with my walk.
The next time I crossed the place she was sitting on a bench to the right. She was rubbing her hands and as I passed her I smiled. I did not know what prompted me but I managed to smile at her. At that very moment she had looked up and she returned my smile. I continued with my walk, but now I was eager to get back to the spot again, I wanted to say hello to her. This time around I had seen her face, she looked pretty and had a charming smile, a dimple in her cheek and to add to it she had lovely eyes. I couldn’t stop thinking about her eyes and her smile.
I couldn’t see her at the bench on my next round, I walked past the place thinking I may spot her a little ahead but then was disappointed not to see her any further. I was in two minds about the walk now and within seconds I turned around and rushed towards the parking. I hoped that I would get to get another opportunity to see her.
I reached the parking and my guess proved correct, I did get to see her she was starting her bike. I stopped and waited a few paces away from her to see if she was doing fine getting her bike started. After a few moments I realised that her bike was giving her a problem starting.
I walked towards her and asked, “Excuse me Ma’am, can I help.”
She turned around and looked at me, smiled and said, “Sure, by all means, thanks.”
I returned the smile and took a shot to start the bike. After a few attempts I realised that the effort was futile, it seemed like the rain had caused some problem to the bike. I said, “I am sorry but I think we need to call the mechanic, do you know of any.”
She frowned and said, “Nope, I don’t, do you know any?”
I replied, “Yeah, I know one. His garage is around the corner, if I call him to this place he should be here in a minute or two.”
She responded, “Well, that is great, can you call him please, it will be of great help.”
I responded by removing my cell phone and dialled the number; the mechanic said he would be here in a minute. He was two blocks away and incidentally he was free at that moment.
I looked at her and informed her, “Well he should be here any moment. His workshop isn’t very far from this place.”
She replied, “Thanks. It is very kind of you to offer help. I believe the rains have prompted people to rush back home r to the coffee shop and you have stood around to help me. Thanks again.”
I smiled and said, “No worries ma’am.”
She responded, “Angel!”
I responded, “Sorry!”
She mentioned, “Angel that is my name Angel.”
I responded, “Oh! Nice meeting you Angel, I am Aniket.”
She said, “Hi,” she gestured for a handshake and I responded and shook hands with her as she continued, “Thanks Aniket.”
I replied, “No Problem.”
Just then the mechanic came in with his kit. He got to in to his act very quickly as we kept watching him. Within a moment or two he started his bike. He did not take notice of Angel who was right besides me said it is done and wished me a safe ride home. He was my regular mechanic and did not charge me for the services and said that he would adjust it some other time. Saying this he walked away with his kit.
Angel thanked me for getting the bike repaired; I shook hands with her and turned to go to my car. I wished that she would spend some time with me in the coffee shop. I walked a few steps when I heard her calling me. I turned around, and she said, “Well Aniket, if you don’t mind would like to spare some time and bother for a cup of coffee?”
Well this was something very much in my mind and I did not take a moment to refuse, “Well no problem with me, but I hope that will not delay you in your schedule.”
She responded quickly, “Oh No, not at all. I was on the way back home from extra lessons at college and for now I am not hurried up. And after all if the bike would not have started it would have taken me ages to get it sorted. So you are getting time out of the time you saved for me. And again I think I owe you a coffee at least.”
In my mind it was the moment I was looking forward to, “Oh no, you don’t owe me anything. It will be a pleasure spending time with you over a cup of coffee.”
She smiled and I returned the smile. We both walked towards the coffee shop, which was two minutes walk from her walk. The mild shower still continued though it did not bother me much and from the look of it the rains did not bother her at all.